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Projects and supervisors

Choose from this year's project areas and supervisors.

You will be able to choose from a great breadth of project areas, with over 30 supervisors and research areas available across four research themes.

Joint projects between supervisors that will forge interdisciplinary links are encouraged, with the overlap in research themes providing excellent scope for collaboration. For example, projects may be jointly directed by wet lab and computational biologists, or clinical and non-clinical supervisors.


Cellular dynamics and proteostasis

This theme investigates the dynamics of protein networks: their biogenesis from mRNA, quality control, degradation and spatial localisation within the cell. Mechanisms coordinating protein synthesis with cell growth and division will also be investigated.

Supervisors and research areas

  • Viki Allan - Microtubule motors in health and disease.
  • Christoph Ballestrem - Studying molecular interactions in live cells to get a better understanding of how and through which pathways adhesion events in cells are regulated.
  • Patrick Caswell - Endocytic trafficking of integrins in the regulation of intracellular signalling.
  • Dan Davis - Imaging immune cell biology.
  • Chris Grant - Molecular responses to oxidative stress.
  • Stephen High - Membrane protein biosynthesis at the endoplasmic reticulum.
  • Simon Hubbard - Bioinformatic approaches to proteomics.
  • Martin Lowe - Membrane traffic in the secretory and endocytic pathways.
  • Stephen Taylor - Probing the role of mitotic kinases using molecular and chemical genetics.



Dynamic signalling systems

This theme explores the assembly and integration of complex cellular networks in response to single or combinatorial extracellular signals, including growth factors and biomechanical signals. Dynamic trafficking of intracellular signalling components will also be investigated.

Supervisors and research areas

  • Enrique Amaya - Signalling during development, wound healing and regeneration.
  • Clair Baldock - Structural studies on microfibrillar components of the extracellular matrix.
  • Raman Das - Understanding the cell biology of neuronal differentiation during development.
  • Chiara Francavilla - Exploring how the trafficking of receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) from and to the plasma membrane can elicit specific cellular responses.
  • Shane Herbert - Molecular mechanisms of angiogenesis.
  • Martin Humphries - Cell adhesion signalling.
  • Qing-Jun Meng - Biological clocks in ageing and age-related diseases.
  • Phil Woodman - Investigation into vesicle fusion on the endocytic pathway.
  • Sarah Woolner - Mitotic spindle orientation and the mechanical tissue environment.



Global gene regulatory networks

This theme studies signal-specific changes in the transcriptional profile, including mRNAs, miRNAs and lncRNAs, and effects on chromatin. From this, the transcription factor logic underpinning activation of gene regulatory networks will be deciphered, and any feedback control determined.

Supervisors and research areas

  • Hilary Ashe - Cell signalling and transcriptional regulation during development.
  • Mark Ashe - The localisation and control of translation initiation factors.
  • Sam Griffiths-Jones - Non-coding RNA structure, function and evolution.
  • Gisela Orozco - Identification of causal variants and genes within regions associated with complex traits.
  • Nancy Papalopulu - Molecular control of neurogenesis in vertebrate embryos.
  • Magnus Rattray - Computational and systems biology.
  • Matthew Ronshaugen - Identification and functional characterization of non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs).
  • Andy Sharrocks - Molecular mechanisms of eukaryotic transcription factor function.
  • Mike White - Systems biology analysis of signaling, transcription and cell fate.



Cellular mechanisms of disease

This theme involves studying the dysregulation of cellular networks in various disease models associated with aberrant cell signalling. Disease models range from tumour xenografts in zebrafish to mouse and ES cell models of developmental disorders, with additional opportunities for access to human patients.

Supervisors and research areas

  • Mike Dixon - Molecular genetics of craniofacial anomalies.
  • John Grainger - Organ-specific immune cell differentiation.
  • Richard Grencis - Immunity to parasitic infection.
  • Neil Hanley - Human developmental biology, endocrinology and stem cell biology.
  • Adam Hurlstone - Novel therapeutic targets for treating melanoma.
  • Bill Newman - Pharmacogenetics and Genetic basis of common diseases.
  • Dave Thornton - The role of mucins in the protection of mucosal surfaces.
  • Cathy Tournier - Regulation of stress-induced cell death.